Atos Origin does not rule out Indian acquisitions

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PARIS, Sept 28 (Reuters) The new chief executive of Atos Origin said the French IT services company is targeting small to medium sized acquisitions and does not rule out purchasing an Indian company.

Philippe Germond, who will take over from Bermard Bourigeaud on Oct. 1, also confirmed in an interview with Les Echos the group's financial goals for 2007 and 2009.

Asked if the era of large acquisitions was over for the company, Germond said: ''Yes, we rather target small or medium-sized acquisitions such as the recent acquisition of Banksys''.

Commenting on offshore expansion plans, Germond said offshore staff would represent 15 percent of the group's total staff by 2009, or some 8,000 people. ''I do not rule out an acquisition in India,'' he also said.

Germond also confirmed the group's targets of achieving revenue growth of 8.5 percent in 2007, with a slight improvement in its operating margin.

He also repeated that Atos aimed for an operating profit of 500 million euros (7.8 million) in 2009, which would be double the 2006 level.

''With organic growth of some 4 percent per year, this would translate into a margin rate of 8 percent in 2009, he said.

REUTERS PBB KN1546

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